Next up is U.S. Rep. John Larson, who's being introduced by Thomas Phillips, president of the Capital Wokforce Parners, the main sponsor of the event.
"He truly is a champion on the national level when it relates to health care," Phillips said.
"It is quite an accomplishment to see health care reform finally pass," he said, referring to the House vote this weekend to endorse a national health care plan. The Senate has yet to act.
Now it's Larson at last...
"We had a very long weekend," Larson said, and his voice is hoarse. The more he talks, he said, the better he'll sound.
Congratulations to Ward "on his great reelection" who's doing a great job, Larson said.
He told Nicastro the presentation was outstanding.
"It's important that we have these kinds of intermodal transporation to all of our cities," he said. A new transportation bill should invest in infrastructure, including rail.
"This will put the country back to work and leave us on the other side of this recession" with an upgraded commerce, Larson said.
He said that when President Obama was sworn in, he said there were three pillars to achieve to turn things around: education reform, health care reform and energy and climate reform.
The House "has passed all three," Larson said, to thin applause. But all three wait for action in the Senate.
The congressman said that Obama "inherited a cavernous hole" with a national debt so big "that they should have passed out coal miner's hats so we could see the depths" of how big it is.
Connecticut got $6 billion in stimulus money, but only a quarter of it has been "let out" so far.
The stimulus package was really a stabilization program, Larson said, to cope with "the implosion that occurred on Wall Street."
The problem was "a lot deeper than first suspected" so the president pushed through the stimulus package, passed legislation to help people go to college and more, Larson said.
"We find ourselves in a jobless recovery," he said, and there's a need to keep investing to build the country."
The work remains to focus "on jobs, jobs, jobs,"
Larson said that the House will focus on transportation bill when it returns to work. The goal is to create a long-term infrastructure bank.
"It is a travesty that our banks will still not lend money to American companies that need it," Larson said.
People on Main Street are getting pink slips while Wall Street hands out bonuses, the congressman said.
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